Monday, April 21, 2008

Judges 8:28–35

Judges 8:28–35: Gideon dies

Synopsis

We’ve been reading, in the last few passages, about Gideon, and this passage finishes the story off. Now that Gideon has subdued the Midianites, Israel has forty years of peace, under his rule. He goes back home to his hometown, and has seventy sons. (We are told in verses 30–31 that Gideon has many wives, and at least one concubine.) Eventually, at “a good old age” (verse 32), Gideon dies.

Unfortunately, verse 33 tells us that no sooner has Gideon died than the Israelites are once again prostituting themselves to the Baals. They set up an idol, which they worship, and forget about the LORD. And, just for good measure, as soon as Gideon is gone, they also stop showing kindness to his family, for all that he has done for the nation.

Thoughts

I read it over and over: The Israelites are saved, and then the judge who saved them dies, and they immediately fall back into their sin. It seems especially stark this time. But again, I have to remind myself that I’m no different from them; I have no sooner mastered a sin than I find myself falling into another one—or thinking that I’ve mastered a sin, only to find out that I’m wrong when I fall into the same sin again.
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